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  • Switzerland

    AT A GLANCE

    OUR JURISDICTIONS —

    Switzerland

    LAST UPDATED 21/07/2023

    AT A GLANCE

    Due to its central location between Germany, France, Italy, Austria, and Liechtenstein, Switzerland is a melting pot of language and culture. Its capital city is Bern, with the official currency as the Swiss Franc (CHF). It has four official languages: German, French, Italian, and Rhaeto-Romanic.

    Switzerland is a popular location for businesses thanks to its close ties with foreign economies, its political stability, and its liberal economic system. 

    Switzerland is made up of 26 cantons – which are a bit like the states you’d find in the US. Structurally, Switzerland has three political layers: Federal, cantonal, and the communal. 

    The Swiss parliament – The Federal Assembly – is divided into two chambers: The National Council represents the Swiss people, or the ‘sovereigns’, and the Council of States represents the cantons. The Federal Council – the Swiss federal government – runs a collegial body and has seven members, representing different departments. 

    The Swiss have low levels of unemployment with a highly skilled labour force and a great standard of living. Financial services lead their service sector in this booming liberal market economy, also characterised by a robust manufacturing industry, centring on knowledge-based production and high technology. Switzerland has a strong pharmaceutical and chemical industry too. 

    Although not a member of the European Union (EU), a lot of Switzerland’s economic practices are in step with the EU to increase the country’s competitiveness. Switzerland is a member of the UN, and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). In 1961 they signed the Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation (OECD), agreeing to conform to their regulations on assistance in tax matters in 2009. And in 2019 they brought into force the Multinational Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS).

    Our local Tax Natives in Switzerland can tell you everything you need to know about the ins and outs of your tax obligations there. Whether you’re buying a single property, or doing complex business deals, we’ll get you the advice you need. Just say the word and we’ll link you with a local expert who can answer all your questions. 

    THE HEADLINES

    • In Switzerland, the federal corporate income tax (CIT) rate is 8.5% on profit after tax (7.83% on profit before tax). In addition, there are cantonal and communal CITs payable, which brings the overall rate between 11.9% and 21.6%, depending on where the company is based
    • In Switzerland the federal personal income tax (PIT) rate is 11.5% with varying cantonal and communal PIT rates (depending on location). Expect your overall PIT rate to fall somewhere in the region of 22.5% and 45%
    • The standard VAT rate is 7.7%

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